There are millions of IMI valves in service across the world. Installing and maintaining these assets requires a dedicated team of engineering experts who often work with colleagues in other regions and different time zones. This close collaboration is the foundation of our aspiration to deliver breakthrough engineering for a better world.
Most will be familiar with IMI’s products, but it’s less likely that readers know much about the innovative thinking and the team responsible for bringing them to market. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work at IMI that goes undocumented yet, at the same time, is worthy of extra attention.
This idea forms the basis for our new ‘Day in the Life’ blog series, which takes a closer look at the careers of those who make IMI one of the world’s leading businesses for flow control applications. For our first interview, we sat down with Jackie Hu, Divisional Managing Director of IMI Critical Engineering.
Jackie’s Career at a Glance:
- Based in Singapore
- 15 years working at IMI
- Studied at Stanford and Harvard Business School
- Oversees work in 20 countries with over 3000 employees
- Member of IMI Plc executive committee
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I try to spend more time out at customer sites, so there’s plenty of variety in a typical working week. When I’m in the office, I start around 9 am and head home at 6 pm, working into the evening to allow maximum contact with our colleagues in the US and Europe.
My diary is usually full of meetings, but this works well as I enjoy hearing from others. It’s all about questioning how we can be more responsive as a business – for this, I need a range of different perspectives, knowledge and experiences. Long working hours are a necessary part of my role, but I do believe in a good work-life balance. I always give myself enough time to rest at the weekend, so I’m ready for the new week ahead.
What motivates you?
In my role, sustainability is an important indicator of success. Not only in terms of impact on the environment, but also how we operate as a business, delivering for shareholders, customers and colleagues. Thousands of people work for IMI and depend on the company’s success to earn a living; at the same time, hundreds of facilities rely on us to deliver innovative solutions that make them more efficient and profitable. If I had to sum up what motivates me in a single phrase, it would be: “What can we do to make a difference?”
Can you tell us about a particularly interesting day at work you’ve had recently?
I recently attended a meeting for a company based in the north of the UK, where I gained a new understanding of how to embed a solutions-led working culture. It was inspiring to hear how the business challenged assumptions and used new technologies to become more competitive. This line of thinking is critical for IMI, as even minor improvements can have a huge impact on the results our customers experience.
What keeps you up at night?
I often think about health and safety. My role is mainly focused on strategy and people, so I am always considering how we can improve processes to minimise the risk to our colleagues, assets and customers. Empowering people and providing them with the resources necessary to do a good job is key. If I keep these points in mind during the working day, I usually sleep soundly.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
The challenge of overseeing a large international business, solving complex process control problems and inspiring the next generation of engineering talent. Equally, I am inspired by the work of our team and enjoy helping others realise their professional ambitions.
Can you tell us something interesting about the place you live?
It’s often said that being a meteorologist is the easiest job for people living in Singapore, as the temperature is nearly always between 25°C- 35°C with some rain in the afternoon! It’s a clean and beautiful city state, and a very safe environment to raise a family. This is very appealing as I have three daughters.
How do you end your day?
If I’m in the office, I’ll head to the gym before going home for dinner. Ending the evening with some reflection is important for me – I’ll look at what’s been achieved and also what needs to be completed the next day. This keeps me focused but also allows me to leave any work-related thoughts at the desk before heading to bed. Rest is an important part of being present and effective the next day.